The Labor Party

Labor has taken over $40 million in corporate donations since 2012.

This money has come from some of our most powerful businesses, like coal seam gas giant, Santos and Crown Casino, and most influential industries, like property development, professional lobbyists and coal and gas companies.

These companies donate for a reason: favourable policy decisions. While the major parties continue to take money from big corporate interests, they will never be completely focused on what is good for Australian communities.

These are the industries seeking to influence the policy decisions of the Labor party:

  Banking and Finance Industry $20,547,769
  Media and Communications $6,436,417
  Developers and Property Industry $5,484,132
  Private Health Industry $4,008,230
  Energy and Resource Companies $3,819,811
  Government Contractors $3,651,592
  Consultancies and Law Firms $3,448,559
  Hotels, Clubs and Alcohol $3,377,215
  Food and Agriculture $1,782,137
  Retail and Services Sector $1,705,594
  Gambling Industry $1,451,402
  Lobbying Firms $1,242,260
  Manufacturing and Heavy Industry $491,512
  Tobacco and Firearms $0

And that’s what we know about

The vast majority of money received by the Labor party is “undisclosed donations” – Dark Money: secret money from untraceable sources which the party is able to avoid reporting on.

There are three big problems with dark money.

  1. Loopholes in our donations laws allow the major parties to claim money received as “other receipts”, because it isn’t a ‘gift’, it is a contractual exchange such as a $10,000 a head ‘business lunch’ with lobbyists and industry.
  2. Major parties employ sneaky tactics to hide the source of donations – like using a political front group (like the 1973 Foundation) to host fundraising events. The corporate donor pays the front group and the front group then pays the political party to “wash the donations” and hide the influential donor.
  3. Our lax donation laws allow donors to split donations between state and federal entities below the $13,500 donation cap. That means over $100,000 can be donated each year without disclosure. If it’s below the disclosure limit, then the AEC has no legal power to investigate it.

All of these tactics are employed to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to work out where the money – money that’s intended to influence political decisions – came from.

Labor’s top corporate donors since 2012:

Donor Value Category
wdt_ID Donor Value Category Donations Made
1 Westpac Banking Corporation 7,834,169 Banking and Finance Industry 2012 - 2018
2 IKON Communications Pty Ltd 3,702,377 Media and Communications 2013 - 2017
3 Zhongfu Investments Pty Ltd 3,655,946 Banking and Finance Industry 2012 - 2013
4 Village Roadshow Limited 866,994 Media and Communications 2012 - 2018
5 CRH Law 799,886 Consultancies and Law Firms 2014 - 2015
6 Woodside Energy Limited 771,000 Energy and Resource Companies 2012 - 2018
7 ANZ Banking Group Limited 758,848 Banking and Finance Industry 2012 - 2018
8 Macquarie Group Limited 730,343 Banking and Finance Industry 2012 - 2018
9 Kingold Group 705,000 Developers and Property Industry 2012 - 2014
10 The Pharmacy Guild of Australia 615,280 Private Health Industry 2012 - 2018